Yesterday I returned to my old volunteer post at the Chicago Cultural Center for the first time in more than five months. My old Thursday morning shifts at the Washington Street information desk were parts of my routine for about two years, and I enjoyed them.
My knee operations kept me away for a long while. Of course someone else took over my regular shift, and I considered not returning. Still, I found that I need the certainty of a familiar place to go. Yesterday, the Washington Street security guard greeted me enthusiastically and brought me his newspapers to read during quiet times. Things were back to normal. Unfortunately, many of the other people I knew at the Cultural Center, including the Director of Volunteers, were victims of Chicago's budget cuts while I was away.
My volunteer job is a no-brainer; I mainly give directions to different events and exhibits, and to the washrooms, the Senior Center, the gift shop, and the Chicago Visitors' Center. I've been told, however, that seeing a welcoming, smiling face is important to tourists who may wander into the building in bewilderment. The building is beautiful, and many of the exhibits are fascinating. I hope to attend more concerts and other activities there in the future.
So I'm overcoming my intertia back at the information desk. Boring? Occasionally, but it's a routine that seems to suit me. I hope I get my Thursday morning schedule back, but if not, I'll fill in when needed. Next up: next Friday afternoon.